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Monday, March 12, 2012

You CAN be healthy and new texting acronyms!

Part UNO (of whats sure to have a good deal of parts...like when I'm counting down to the kids and I get to 9 and I know the kids just need a 9.2,9.9,9.99)

There are too many ways to help oneself...that's the great part!  And there are an overwhelming amount of excuses not to...start today, no excuses.

1. Probably the most important aspect of making any change is to realize that it is for life...success rarely happens in two weeks or 3 months.  Ask any athlete, any entrepreneur, any child (although the topic may be a little too advanced for them...I mean this more figuratively)...full potential takes time!!!! If you'd like to become a marathon runner, lose 50 lbs, become a less stressed homemaker, speak in a British voice, build the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks, etc...
That being said the change can be made gradual and does not need to be painful because there are no deadlines except for the starting today part! 
I am specifically talking about healthy lifestyle/weight but I believe that the same philosophies do apply for most things that you'd want to improve or change.

There are several main components to this:
food
exercise
sleep
extracurricular

I am a busy mom of three kids, two animals and a husband who I'd count as half to two-thirds of a kid. And certainly I've heard the excuses from other people, made some myself too about not having the time to do one or all of the above in a way that promotes health. 

Here are a few of the things that have worked for me (and maybe some things that haven't)...

1. Join a vegetable co-op!  Every two weeks I pick up a share of Organic Veggies that Ive bought from a localish food co-op called Purple Dragon.  I've been doing it for more than 10 years and I've found that I feel too bad to waste the food I've just spent our hard earned money on so I've no choice but to serve the collards and green beans et al to my family at meal times. 

2. Clean out your fridge and pantry and throw out...yes I said it, throw out all the food that isn't whole grain, fruit, veggie, etc....throw out all the junk...the sugary cereals, the old box of Twinkies you bought because you saw a recipe for Twinkie flavored ice cream, the chips, the fatty salad dressing...I wanted to do this for years but didn't because I thought about all the money I was throwing away.  I kept thinking that it would get eaten and then I would achieve the same results.  It never happened.  Somehow it always was there.  One month ago I did what I'm advising others to do and it has helped immensely.  It was a little painful to watch my beloved salad dressings go...as I always considered them to be the arbiter of good health, after all they go on the healthiest of food...the salad.  But after measuring out the dressing used along with toppings I came to see that they were making what might have been healthy, something full of fat and calories!

3. After you've thrown out all that crap DO NOT GO SHOPPING WITHOUT A PLAN!

4. Get a plan in place for your eating.  I've paid at least a million dollars in fines I 've received from overdue library cook books.  Problem is it was so time consuming to decide, plan, and shop for a menu that would include healthy meals for my family.  The plan had to be small child, teen and husband friendly in my case and the hours of trying to get all the details straight made me turn to some fast solutions that weren't so healthy.  So for the past 3 weeks I have been eating Jillian Michael's(referred to herein as JM) style.  Her website provides a service (at a weekly cost) where a preprepared menu is available every week with shopping list.  All of the recipes with directions are a click away and the food isn't crazy stuff its wholesome food my brood will eat.  I am assuming that there are several other services that do this but I am really loving the JM menu.  JM is a huge advocate for organic real food.

5. Keep a food journal where you add up your calories...at least until you get used to the feeling of what a correct portion of the foods you should be eating is.  Yes this is super time consuming and I loathe it most of all, but it can be a temporary thing and there are several websites that make it relatively easy...myfitnesspal, myfooddiary, and as an extra added bonus on JM's site  its one click to add the meal to your food diary when you've prepared the food on the menu provided.  I likes me some of that!

6. Measure your food servings!  This really isn't going to add extra time.  A food scale costs like 9 bucks at walmart and if you don't have measuring utensils get some...For instance....my oldest daughter loves, loves, loves to drink orange juice...oh wow that is so healthy you say....but wait...she grabs the largest cup we own, I think it had a past life in a drinking contest, fills it up and then drinks it faster than the speed of her asking me for clothes money.  An OJ serving being 8 oz, she just consumed about 3 servings  at 110 cals per serving....whopping 330 calories!!!! And 70 g of carbs.  If you multiply that a few times a day in the different things we don't measure there you have it.

7. Keep a reusable water bottle at hand at all times.  There are so many reasons that water is essential for health :
  • Water helps to maintain healthy body weight by increasing metabolism and regulating appetite.
  • Water leads to increased energy levels. The most common cause of daytime fatigue is actually mild dehydration.
  • Drinking adequate amounts of water can decrease the risk of certain types of cancers, including colon cancer, bladder cancer, and breast cancer.
  • For a majority of sufferers, drinking water can significantly reduce joint and/or back pain.
  • Water leads to overall greater health by flushing out wastes and bacteria that can cause disease.
  • Water can prevent and alleviate headaches.
  • Water naturally moisturizes skin and ensures proper cellular formation underneath layers of skin to give it a healthy, glowing appearance.
  • Water aids in the digestion process and prevents constipation.
  • Water is the primary mode of transportation for all nutrients in the body and is essential for proper circulation.  SOURCE

    Ok I've rambled enough for one blog entry on health...I'll get back to some of these points....
    In the meantime I would like to stray a little to the subject of texting acronyms...I've had enough of the LOL and the LMAO...can I please just suggest a few others before I LMM (lose my mind).

    LSHIF- This happens with kids mostly, I swear it does and then they laugh more....(Laugh So Hard I Farted)

    MOMN- I don't know one person who can't relate to this (Milk Out My Nose)

    BMTT-This is the best type of laugh and often happens at night when I'm laying in bed with the Mr. and we are having our closing thoughts on the day. (Brought Me To Tears)

    HTBT-Had a lot of these when my daughter was in her early teens...OMG (this baby is on the chopping block for next time)..i was at the mall with Leah and Sean and these kids did this, and I said that and then we all laughed...(Had To Be There)

    CNF-When you are standing in line at the Target and the single guy with cat food, duct tape and a shovel tells you some weird joke (Creepy Not Funny)


    I'm open to any and all suggestions so we can put LOL to BED.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Health is a Life Long Commitment

Almost into the fourth decade of life, being a woman in a society that values beauty in an almost obscene way...

 The example of Plus size model Crystal Renn comes to mind here



Its an interesting story...check it out here http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/size-model-crystal-renn-sheds-pounds-fuels-criticism/story?id=12867609

I have spent so much mental energy on criticizing my body.
In highschool I brought one unpeeled orange for lunch every day. The thought behind that was that I would peel it slowly and the bell would ring as I finished my one orange. Needless to say I shouldn't have been surprised when I fainted during a track meet while running.
After my first child I ate a can of campbells tomato soup for lunch every day at the office where I worked and spent my lunch hour at the personal training center in the same office complex. My weight dropped to 92 lbs and I was excited by my ability to be so thin but when I look back at the pictures I look emaciated.
Two children later I have gained and shed the same 20 lbs repeatedly. And I know my story is the very moderate one.
I just want to love my body...it's just so exhausting to be always thinking about those few lbs. That happiness is the foundation for all other small and large victories...so a few years ago I just stopped listening to that nagging self doubt. But I look around at other women all shapes and sizes and see that many of you sadly have not! This is not the part where I say that if you are 50lbs or more overweight that you are perfect the way you are. Too much weight causes health issues seen and unseen and it is time our society stops saying it's ok to be obese. And for that matter allow marketers and companies to make the stuff that doesn't even resemble food to be the most promoted and affordable. But if you are not obese and have some extra weight... stop beating yourself up. Stop beating yourself up and change your lifestyle to a healthier version. While I do not believe we need to be like supermodels there are so many benefits to living a healthy life that any change in that direction will make such a significant difference as long as it's not a fad like eating only grapefruits or bacon.
Most importantly realize that this change is going to be a commitment you make for life...and in order to do that you will be able to include the occasional wine or comfort snack with some planning.
I swear I'm not being on my soapbox but I am happy with myself and I just wish the same for others!
In my next post I'm going to list some of the things that led me to that happiness.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Being 8.

I had hoped these kids would slow down when it comes to getting older but they seem intent on growing up...could it be eight years on planet earth for my Sam already?
It was a great day and I hope it's one those days he will mention to me as an adult.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A short note about cleaning products.

I will admit freely that I loathe all things cleaning. But in a busy household of 5 people and 2 pets it is always there, distracting me...I have not reached the level of shamelessness to allow total ignorance. On a side note I really do dislike all things chorish (yes that is word). Some people get through it by pretending they are Cinderella, some reward themselves, some have others do it for them (the smartest ones).etc.

Something I've found that helps...aromatherapy. I recently discovered Mrs. Meyers cleaning products. They come in these garden flavors. I haven't actually tasted but I'm sure they are yummy. My two favorites are lavender and honeysuckle...the smell takes over the house and I can almost pretend it's summer.
They are not as all natural as I would prefer but they are biodegradable and they do not have antibacterial...which I do not want. Mrs Meyers, my husband thanks you.

Oh how did that giants picture slip in there?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lots on the plate...no running until Wednesday!

After being sick comes the catching up (and in my case..sick...catch up, repeat)! Finally this week I was feeling myself again but I haven't updated as some things get left I guess. I managed to get in some consistent , although small, running this week only to be told by my new PT that there will be no running until after I see him next which just so happens to be 5 days from now...and when I followed up his prescription with the inevitable questions...does that mean I can do the elliptical (nada), spin(no), bike (hell no), yoga (not even)...what will I do to de-stress...I already feel overwhelmed...ok so its not that bad. I will try to feel good about the prospect of healing my body and not focus on what I cannot do. And maybe I'll get lucky and it will rain everyday from now until then. And the thought of running pain free is really delicious!...So my sweet pink running gear will remain in the closet until later!






What have I been doing since my last post...well I have been getting lots of Alice in Wonderland designs together for the Noyes Museum. They have an Alice exhibit opening tonight and I am very excited to be a part of their gift shops!






















Another exciting thing...when I got home from the PT today there was a package from my husbands cousin who works for Adidas...two shiny new sneaks...only problem is they are too small...so I will have to get larger sizes...but hey I can't wear them until Wednesday around 2 ish so they were just a nasty little temptation anyway!






                                          I'm totally craving these chocolate chip cookies!  Hope I can run next week to burn these babies off!




Saturday, January 21, 2012

Away from the blogosphere on sick leave.

It's been awhile since my last blog entry but I'm not sure any one's counting. Once every year around this time I get a nasty sore throat chesty cold. As I prefer to let my body's own defenses heal me it usually is more than a few day ordeal.
Even while sick I'm kept pretty busy.
1. I've been taking care of the house...5 people and two pets...don't they know I'm busy resting!!!

This is all the laundry I meant to fold...somehow grabbing one every time I walk by is not making a dent!


2. Since I figured people at the gym would frown upon my hacking cough and toilet paper roll solution to the crazy amount of bogies (yes I meant it to sound English...classy version) and every mom knows you'll catch a cold running outside...figured signing up for races was close to running.

This is the prize breakdown for the Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k on St. Patty's Day! No way will I sniff any prize money but I'm def going to wear something green!

3. I requested books from the library to keep me company...notice a theme?
Yes that is Chariots of Fire...sorry I can't figure out how to turn that sucker!

4. Got tired of not running so I dragged the treadmill into the house. Living in a house overstuffed with kids toys,  there is not a place for the treadmill so it lives outside in the summer and in the garage in the winter. Currently I've placed it in a very smart place. The center of the kitchen. I've had this dinosaur for over ten years but it still works and as a bonus the neighbors can hear the cinema down the block (treadmill is super loud ie tv is super duper loud) If they strategically park their car outside our house it could be like going to the drive-in theater.


5. I've been etsying around the clock. Along with my oldest child we've created a second store just for tags. The Vintage Tag. www.thevintagetag.etsy.com. Additionally starting in February I will be placing a plethora of Alice in Wonderland themed items into the gifts shops of the two locations of the Noyes museum. Filling orders for serendipitycrafting and designing new valentine items :)




Love Stickers from Serendipitycrafting









Cute little easter tag from The Vintage Tag



Bunnies are Cute




For the Noyes on Serendipitycrafting










6. Spending some quality time with my babies. Playing legos, coloring, wearing our jammies inside out to make it snow...

I wonder if I can get Sam to organize my craft room?



Jammies on Inside out and Backwards

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Embrace A Life Filled with Serendipitous Moments

Today started with an unexpected oil change appointment, which had a chain reaction as I guess all events in our life do to a certain extent. This is where Serendipity becomes such a magical word.

Dictionary.com defines serendipitous - adjective 1. come upon or found by accident; fortuitous 2. of, pertaining to, or suggesting serendipity 3. good; beneficial; favorable

The thought that your day begins full of possibility and you could end up somewhere unexpected is something I have chosen to embrace and something I see in my children and perhaps most children. Embrace it and find the good in any situation. This leads to happiness! And if that doesn't work just keep pictures of adorable animals close at hand.

Don't you just want to eat that little guy...I don't mean literally that isn't cute at all...
http://www.dailycuteness.com/cute-hedgehog.html

The plan was to go  to a 9am spin class,however, my husband insisted it was more important to get an oil change....I was miffed at first and I still would like to pretend I am so I can get him to cook dinner...but I decided to play nice and bring the car in.
In my huff I quickly grabbed my running attire and goodies that I never, ever run without and figured I would drop off the car and run near the auto shop until it was done.  Our neighborhood is a pretty suburban one with a house almost every 10ft but lots of 25mph road to run on.  The shop where we take the car is in an older part of town with lovely historical houses but drastically more traffic.

Long story short my run was new today and I loved every new corner, street and passerby...except for maybe that older couple with the cujo like dog.  I think if the dog wanted to eat me it could have snapped the arm of its owner right off...yes it was a yorkie or something like that but very loud like a much larger dog.

And the serendipitous moment came when I turned down this street.  In the very suburban town I'm in this street was anomaly.  Forgotten, old, full of life though and having a dilapidated sort of character.  The sign at the beginning said no outlet and it went on for a mile or so.  It was quiet other than the occasional house and all of the animals...(I must admit I did worry for 20 seconds about bear, cheetahs, angry deer).  This street triggered spontaneous smiling, invoked questions to ponder,  made me a little thirsty (stream on the right looked very cool), and made the miles fly by.  Thank you Serendipity...I will be back

Road hasn't seen much love lately!
Evidence of life!

You can see why I might have been thinking scary animal or ghost mauling might occur...picture like the Blair Witch Project
A long peaceful road in the middle of suburbia :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What to do when your legs forget how to run...

Some days when my body hasn't quite recuperated from the punishment from the day before I swear my legs and brain are having some family style argument.  The last two runs legs are going, "You started it" and brain is going, "No you started it".  Then they refuse to agree on anything. 

Sunday it was as if my legs would not bend, no oil can.  Normally my footfalls are pretty quiet but when you can hear the foot slapping the ground louder than the Ipod something is amiss!  Then today the legs were wanting to sleep in and the effort involved in making them move was causing my respiratory system to act like we were sprinting.  Its weird that I just referred to myself as we..I know. 

This is certainly not the first time I have had a "tough" run but now having encountered them before I have a few strategies and thought I would share them.

1. The first thing I do is stop (and stop my Garmin of course) and do a little dynamic stretching.  I say dynamic or controlled ballistic because static stretching before a run has been scratched off the good for you list, but sometimes it is simply a case of cold muscles not ready.  A few minutes of dynamic stretching starts to get the blood moving and warm the muscles.  The following are a few articles on this...
Article 1 Ballistic/Dynamic vs Static Stretching
Article 2 Dynamic Stretching Routine Pre-Run

2.  If after diverting some blood to the muscles I continue on and find that I'm still having an awful/hard run I switch my run from whatever was planned to something else...for example...if I'm out doing sprints I will change it up and do an easy paced run, or if I am doing an easy paced run...increase my speed or switch to sprints. Just to get through it faster sprints...

3. For a long run sometimes its not possible to sprint, so then I break my run up into segments of walk run.  Running 16 miles straight when you feel like crap looks much better when its in 5.3 mile, 3 mile or even half mile segments with a walk period of 5 min, 2 min, 1 min respectively.  Small rests are best usually as running 16 is already a time consuming process and resting too long can cool down muscles too much...but small amounts of walking do a number of good things for the body...help with lactic acid buildup( especially good for the shin splint prone), allow for less mental fatigue, give some time to take in the beauty around you possibly giving a necessary kick start for the next segment, etc.

4. If the fatigue or malaise continues...pack it in.  Running while overly fatigued can lead to injury and its also possible that an unknown injury (or one your trying to ignore) is telling you..."hey buddy (imagine Jillian Michaels as your inner voice) maybe running right now is going to cause more damage than good". 

Picture Courtesy of lucyphoto.com





It is ok to not run when running is tearing your body down or when your just having a "bad" running day.  This is supposed to be fun and challenging but not to the extent where it becomes a negative force on your body...etc etc

(I am not a physician so any advice or comment is my own opinion from my experience as a runner...please do see your physician before you cannot run because pain is severe...this will save you months of rehab and possibly save the life of the other runners... as you run them over with your vehicle in frustration!)

May your next run not suck! :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Jersey Gardening-The Dreaming Phase

Seeing as I don't have enough on my plate...gotta squeeze enjoyment into every second...I have entered into the dreaming phase of my gardening year.  Seeing as the only thing in my garden at the moment is sage...a very hearty herb that is the first to grow and the last to wither...January begins the phase of gardening where anything is possible for the upcoming garden.  All the successes and failures get weighed into my dreaming and calculations begin for what I will tackle in this coming years garden. 

I decided that a greenhouse was the smartest addition to the new this year.  I did ask Santa to bring me one but he insisted that my husband's pleas for no greenhouse were more often and more desperate.   Silly really cause as my husband should know...once I get my mind on something it is almost impossible to change.  And anyway who wants to mow all that grass!

As we have not settled on our current house as our final house I figure I will go with something that isn't permanent and hopefully my father who is very handy will take pity on me and lend me a hand.


PVC based greenhouses seem to be a simple solution for a quick and inexpensive greenhouse. 
Picture from snapclamp.com




I also have been busy with the unfortunate result of Christmas in my office...thought I should update ...





Playoff football and my run to get in...Sunday funday!  Hope its a great day for all :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Its very easy to be altruistic...even if you are short on time & money :)

I think in the New Year many people start thinking about how they can make the coming year a better one than the year before.  I have always wanted to be a person who volunteers their time and resources as I feel life has been very generous with me...but I've faced a few obstacles in the time and money department at not in any order :) 

So I thought I might share some of the ways I've been able to do something, even if it is small.

I use a goodsearch browser bar.  At their website goodsearch.com you can designate a charity after downloading their search bar.  Every time you search the advertisers donate to the charity you have chosen.  Additionally when you purchase items through the internet you can do it through their website and get extra toward your charity. 

You can also designate thehungersite.com as one of your homepages...and in similar fashion you can click a button & shop through them... advertisers donate every time you click and you can earn extra for shopping through their extensive listings.  Additionally there are many sellers on the site offering handmade unique gifts who come from impoverished areas throughout the world.

While in the past I haven't been able to donate much of my time because most of the things I've wanted to volunteer for weren't age appropriate for my children...they are older and there are many ways available to us this year.  On the LBI 18 mile run which is less crowded they were able to volunteer while I run...its a win-win because I look forward to seeing them and they had a blast cheering and handing out the gatorade and water. So this year I am am going to volunteer myself at one or more run.  If running isn't your thing...there are plenty of other opportunities....

If it is time that you have available...By visiting volunteermatch.com  you can find volunteer opportunities that fit all time/age/$ restrictions. 

And don't forget to volunteer in your community...there are so many ways in our communities to donate...donating surplus veggies from too many tomato plants to your local church, donating blood (visit redcross.org for locations), donating time at your local library (kid friendly), cleaning out your closet and donating to your local goodwill. 

There are so many ways to give...big and small...even during a recession..when its most needed!

And just so this post isn't all sappy and serious...my son told me this joke yesterday....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lou commits to 500 miles!

Got my husband to do the mileage challenge, but did he really have a choice...I guess not. So he added it up and came up with 500! Yeah Lou!

Oh and I took a pic of my treadmill screen for evidence of my indoor gym run. Don't know why I didn't think of that before.  The gym was packed and I had to wait for a treadmill, but once I had it I figured I'd keep it for awhile.

Poorly taken picture of my treadmill screen....




Tackling tough topics...a story of truth and alliteration.

Being new to the blogging world I have made a few discoveries and have certain questions. I've learned that the more successful (most followed) blogs have lots of pictures. Are motivating and/or positive. Tend toward a central theme. And the people hosting them are all handsome and well put together. Every. Day. Ok so that may be an exaggeration, but it seems a good deal of primping is included. Well I barely have the time to write this sentence so please do forgive me if my blog/person is not handsome or well put together. I am going to put it out there, as it happens with as much honesty as my boundaries regarding shame will allow. Over the holiday season my craft room has become the resting place of most of the stuff that needs to be hidden because it requires too much time to put away properly. On top of that I have gone from one project to the next with the reckless abandon that holidays require. I've started some scrapbook pages, rushed through gift card holder making for bus drivers and trimmed ribbon onto my carpet. I know...it's awful.

So in true honest spirit here is what it looks like! I don't know if that's too much honesty but there it is.

I suffer from having an inability to enjoy cleaning...and even further I am able to drop it in favor of fun or laziness or just about anything really. But having said that, as a busy stay-at-home mom-wife-runner-small etsy store maker etc,etc, I benefit greatly from an organized clean home. Dastardly dilemma (more alliteration)! So as part of my agreement with myself to catch myself during wasting time I've begun the arduous task of organizing my crafting room...thereby presenting my presence with pleasant peaceful places.

How much honesty is too much to share?

Anyone else starting the organizing of a household room? Any tips?

Feel free to alliterate!

The Beginning of organizing my very large stamp collection...I was so excited when they developed the acrylic stamps as they do not take up nearly as much space...ie I can get more...but sometimes it is hard to find the right one when its called onto the field...


Seems like the water should be an easy one...however it has been floating around in different spots throughout my house for maybe 6 months or more...it's waiting to become beer someday...